Malacañang grieves with Robredo for mother's death
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Sunday, February 23, sent its condolences to Vice President Leni Robredo after her mother, Salvacion Gerona, 83, died on Saturday.
"We wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to Vice President Ma. Leonor 'Leni' Robredo for the passing of her beloved mother, Ms. Salvacion Gerona. In this time of bereft, we also offer our thoughts and sympathy to the family, relatives and friends of Ms. Gerona," Malacañang said in a statement.
Malacañang praised Gerona for being a "selfless and dedicated teacher who molded countless of young minds across generations."
Gerona was described as an epitome of wisdom and elegance who lived life to the fullest like any other person in her town.
She also kept up with the times. Aika Robredo, the Vice President’s eldest daughter, celebrated the life of her grandmother “Mommy Sally” in a poignant tribute she posted on Facebook. Aika said that after her grandfather, Antonio Gerona, passed away in 2013, Mommy Sally had wifi installed in her house and learned how to use Facebook to be able to keep in touch with the whole family.
Gerona was an English teacher and a former dean of the graduate school of the Universidad de Sta. Isabel (USI) in Naga City, where the Vice President also went for elementary and high school.
She painted and did charity work. Like many Bicolanos, she was a devotee of Our Lady of Peñafrancia.
In 2015, soon after former President Benigno Aquino III anointed then Rep. Robredo as the running mate of Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas, Gerona told Rappler that her only advise to her daughter was to “put her best foot forward”.
“She was brought out very well and she makes very own judgment. I don’t want to discourage or encourage her. Whatever responsibility given to her, I told her to put her [best foot] forward and [give it] her best shoot,” Gerona had said.
Gerona had described her daughter as a shy but talented girl who “didn’t want to go on stage.” She was proud to share that the Vice President was part of an achievers class at the Colegio of Santa Isabel (USI).
“Leni is very thoughtful daughter, loving, and independent. She loves everybody. She checks on me every time. She may not stay longer but she kept on calling and dropped by our home whenever time warrants,” Gerona had said.
On January 24, Gerona was hospitalized at the Mother Seton Hospital, prompting the Vice President to rush home to Naga City.
Robredo herself announced her mother's passing.
Gerona's wake will be at the at the Eternal Chapels and Mortuary, Eternal Gardens, Balatas Road in Naga City starting Sunday, February 23 at 4pm. – Rhaydz B. Barcia/Rappler.com